The great ammo shortage of 2013 does not seem to have come to an end. Empty ammunition shelves at stores around the United States have prompted fistfights over bullets. Walmart is now limiting customers to three ammunition purchases per day, and other gun stores are following suit.
Three separate elements which have been largely cited as the cause of the ammo shortage include increased buying due to pending gun control legislation at both the state and federal level, and government stockpiling. A television station in Michigan recently reported it could be another year and a half before supply catches up with demand.
“I had a report yesterday of a fistfight in a sporting goods store, people trying to get rimfire ammunition off the shelf,” Mark DeYoung, the chief executive officer of Alliant Techsystems, a major ammo manufacturer, told The Wall Street Journal. “So there is still demand and customers are still very anxious to get product.” Incidents of ammunition being stolen from mail shipments have also been reported.
The Idaho State Journal reported that the cost of a brick of 22 shells in Pocatello has increased from $19.95 to $24.95 over the past year. That is if gun owners can find the ammunition in the first place. The Davy Crockett Gun Shop in Pocatello only received nine boxes of.22 shells in its last shipment, the store’s owner, Virginia Crockett, told The State Journal. “That’s all we could get,.22 shells and #10 black powder caps are non-existent. The ammo companies report that they are working 24/7 to catch up,” the store reports.
“We are in the hoarding mentality. Ammo is hard to get and guns are hard to get right now,” CAL Ranch gun store owner Arkie Clapier said. High Desert Tactical owner Tucker Bloxham noted that.22 caliber ammo is not the only hard to find ammo,.40 caliber hollow point bullets and.380 rounds are also increasingly rare finds.
Recorded message customers receive when calling top ammunition supplier Hornady:
“Order volume and demand for product has increased dramatically. We currently have delay in order processing, production and shipment of product.”
Richard Duarte, preparedness author, attorney, and firearms expert had this to say about the ammo shortage:
“We are often told by a number of elected officials that private citizens don’t need guns since a well-armed police force is there to protect them. To learn that a Minnesota police department is finding it necessary to ask citizens for ammunition seriously undermines the credibility of those officials who would have us give up our rights and our firearms on the unrealistic expectation that we can rely on others for our protection.”
The Department of Homeland Security is reportedly planning to purchase 750 million more rounds in the near future; 360,000 of those rounds are for hollow point bullets. The federal agency already bought 2 billion bullets over the course of the past year. Republican Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe feels that the President Barack Obama’s administration is attempting to deprive others of ammo and “dry up the market.”
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